6 min readJun 21, 2022


KSM in Moonriver: Ultimate solution for enhancing Interoperability between blockchains.

Imagine having an Ethereum compatible smart contract platform that is not only Decentralised and permissionless but also allows easy building of interoperable applications. That is exactly what the Moonbeam network encompasses. And specifically, Moonbeam is a sister to Moonriver, A permanently incentivized, community-driven canary network for Moonbeam on Kusama.

Most interestingly, Moonriver is the first Fully-Functional EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) Deployment to Kusama. Making it easy for smart contracts deployed on Ethereum to be deployed on the Blockchain. Besides, Moonbeam, the fully Ethereum-compatible smart contract platform on Polkadot, has released new functionality to facilitate native cross-chain token capabilities on Moonriver. Learn more on this here.

This explanation probably sounds very illogical, so let’s unpack it little by Little. We’ll start with an Introduction to Kusama and move to Moonriver, an ‘incentivized canary network’ and then explore Moonriver’s technology and how these recent upgrades from Moonriver benefit Kusama. Including the representation of KSM on moonriver.

Introduction To Kusama — The most Recognized Canary network

You’ll frequently see Kusama called a canary network — in fact, the logo shows a little canary. But do you know the origin of the term? I’ll explain

Up until the 1980s, miners would bring caged canaries into coal mines to test for hazardous gases that they couldn’t smell or taste. The canaries would get distressed when the concentration of methane or carbon dioxide was high, which could indicate an upcoming outbreak or fire. Simply like a canary in a coal mine, a canary network lets developers discover bugs and vulnerabilities in a live setting, with real users and assets.

Representation of KSM on Moonriver

On moonriver, KSM is represented with xcKSM. As xcKSM is the XC-20( ERC-20 token standard) symbol representation of KSM on Moonriver. This simply allows KSM to be used like it’s an ERC-20 (Ethereum standard token) across the Moonriver ecosystem while maintaining its cross-chain qualifications.

Apart from being called xcKSM on the network, new use cases for xcKSM have come to the ecosystem since the crowdloans. Token holders have access to several DApps on Moonriver that natively support KSM and xcKSM.

In addition, xcKSM can be created by depositing KSM from the Kusama Relay Chain to Moonriver. To deposit KSM for use on Moonriver, visit and approve the prompt to connect to MetaMask. You will now see xcKSM under Cross Chain Assets. To transfer your assets from Kusama to Moonriver, click “Deposit” and connect your Polkadot.js extension within the pop-up window. Select the address from the dropdown and click “Send”.

Moonriver combines the best of two worlds — Ethereum Compatibility and Polkadot’s Interoperability

The Moonriver parachain now includes the first functional EVM deployed to the Kusama network, including its extensive Ethereum compatibility. This compatibility includes the Moonriver unified account structure, a Web3 RPC and precompiles (unbeatable compatibility with Ethereum-native tooling and integrations), and of course, the dozens of projects and DApps that plan to expand to Moonriver in the coming weeks.

Particularly, The Moonriver’s new functionality also adds native cross-chain capabilities. In other words, the new upgrade presents XC-20s to Kusama. xcKSM ( xcKSM is the symbol for KSM on Moonriver) can be created by simply transferring KSM from the Kusama Relay chain. Click here to learn how to interact with crosschain assets on Moonriver. Meanwhile, Fungible assets created as XC-20s will be able to move across other Kusama parachains and remote parachain tokens will be able to move to moonriver as XC-20s.

As a result of Moonriver’s exciting upgrades, a new HRMP channel was created between Moonriver & Statemine to allow assets to move between the parachains for the first time. In short, The XC-20 introduction to Kusama enables Web3 developers to cross-chain interactions between parachains.

How does Moonriver support Kusama?

By now you should understand what is meant by a permanently incentivized, community-led canary network on Kusama. Let’s proceed to the more sophisticated part: what Moonriver and Moonbeam do.

First of all, the Relay Chains of Kusama and Polkadot don’t usually support smart contracts: it’s the job of parachains. Kusama-based smart contract networks like Moonriver, Karura, Shiden, etc. will rival each other in the same way as Ethereum, Tron, Solana, Fantom, and different Layer-1 smart contract networks do.

But why is Ethereum compatibility so significant? Years went into evolving the Ethereum ecosystem: it now has nearly 3,000 dApps, 85k daily active users, and a small force of Solidity developers.

Moonriver has a solution — an on-ramp that lets developers deploy Ethereum dApps on Kusama with practically no differences, plug-and-play style. In the comfy setting, devs can use all the tools they are used to:

  • Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM);
  • Web3 RPC endpoints (to connect the dApp to Moonriver);
  • H160 accounts (blockchain addresses);
  • ECDSA signatures (used to validate transactions);
  • MetaMask wallet;
  • Truffle and Waffle improvement environments;
  • Javascript libraries (Ethers.js and Web3.js);
  • ETH and 2,000 ERC-20 tokens (via bridges — Moonriver also supports DOT, KSM, aUSD, and other native assets), and more.

Support for ERC-20 is one of the many ways that Moonriver makes it easier for developers to re-deploy existing projects to Kusama, and generally makes token creation much simpler. However, Moonriver is the biggest ecosystem on Kusama, both in terms of TVL and overall activity/usage. New DApps and DeFi options are launched continuously, incentivizing token holders to use their KSM on Moonriver for rewards.

Imagine that you could move to some wonderful equatorial destination and take your whole home with you — furniture, clothes, and all. As soon as you arrive, the house just springs up there just the way you left it. That’s what Moonriver does for Ethereum-based ventures — and numerous already have live integrations, involving Ocean Protocol, SushiSwap, Band Protocol, AnySwap, etc.

By the way, once Moonriver’s ‘elder cousin’ Moonbeam is functional, projects will be able to deploy on both networks. It will be fascinating to see which one wins out in the end: the more solid and reliable Moonbeam or the wilder, more experimental Moonriver.

What is Unique about KSM In Moonriver(xcKSM)?

To start with, Devs in Moonriver will now be able to make their project tokens cross-chain capable without modifying the existing ERC-20 format and integrate XC-20s with existing Ethereum development frameworks and DApps.

Users may find Kusama appealing based on the pre-production capabilities it offers for the Polkadot network and its emphasis on facilitating interoperability between the two blockchains. With the ERC-20 standard, apps like Uniswap or Aave can support tens of thousands of unique tokens with just one code implementation. Thereby Increasing demand for xcKSM and others.

On top of that, Projects can also retain parachains on both Kusama and Polkadot, using their Kusama parachain to experiment and test new features before boosting their Polkadot parachain. Several projects have deployed parachains on both networks, including Gitcoin, a platform providing paid opportunities to developers by linking them to open-source projects, and 0x, a system for decentralized exchanges.

Conclusively, Investors may like to add KSM to their portfolio should they believe in the future of the Polkadot ecosystem and blockchains that operate as a footing for applications. Now they can also add ‘xcKSM’ and enjoy benefits and integrations offered by moonriver.

However, Users can “deposit” tokens from elsewhere in the Kusama ecosystem, like KSM, to be used in Moonriver-based applications. This functionality has been added to the existing Moonriver DApp.




Blockchain enthusiast//Blockchain Ambassador//Content writing.